Vancouver posted another month of scorching home-price gains in July.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says benchmark detached home prices surged 38 per cent last month to almost $1.6-million.

That kind of price appreciatation was the catalyst for British Columbia's decision to impose a 15 per cent tax targeting foreign homebuyers.

Overall, sales fell nearly 19 per cent in July amid a sharp drop in listings from the previous year.  

“Home sale activity showed some moderating signs in late June and this carried into July,” said Dan Morrison, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, in a statement. “We’ll wait and watch over the next few months to see if this marks the return of more normal market trends.” 

 A total of 3,226 residential properties were sold in July, down 26.7 per cent from June.

The figures capture the last month in which foreign property buyers were not subject to the new tax.

Keith Roy, a realtor with ReMax Select, said that worries over how the tax might affect the real estate market is causing potential buyers to bail from bidding on houses.

“People are just going to sit on their hands on the sidelines and see what happens over the next couple of months,” he told BNN in an interview. “If enough people wait and see, [the tax] is just going to work. Markets are always rational.” 

-With files from the Canadian Press